Tarun Reflex

November 29, 2008

Blogs unite Indians in face of terror



As Indian security forces waged a 59-hour battle against the terrorists who had attacked 10 prominent places in Mumbai, internet blogs united horrified people across India. While some used them to give vent to their anguish and pray for the victims, others provided minute-by-minute updates of the tragedy.
An eerie feeling when you wake up in the morning and hear such words from a three-year-old – ‘Bua (Aunt) no office today. Taj Mahal (hotel) is burning. I saw it‘. Strange, looking at her innocent face I realised I didn’t matter to myself. It’s our kids we fear for. Guess the time has come to talk them through the word terrorist.”
The entry was made by Saakshi O. Juneja in her blog post “Mumbai – Shaken and Stirred” Thursday. The previous night, armed young men had unleashed a reign of terror in India’s financial capital. At least 152 people were killed and 327 injured in the attacks – the most audacious the country has ever seen.
Bloggers Vinu and Arun Shanbhag frantically uploaded photographs of the three spots where the terrorists were holed up, taking many foreigners hostages, and of the security operations on their blogs and , respectively.
These photographs were also supplemented by the uploading of images on picture sharing websites.
In an open letter to “Dear Mr. Terrorist” on his blog, Shoaib Mohammed Daniyal condemned the terrorists for killing innocents in the name of the maltreatment of Indian Muslims.
“You say that they killed 130 people in Mumbai to avenge the maltreatment that people like me with names like Mohammed have faced in India. Let me tell you something about myself.
“I did my schooling in Calcutta in one of the city’s finest schools – La Martiniere for Boys. I completed my graduation in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and am now employed with a premier business research firm in Gurgaon.
“If there was wide spread discrimination against Muslims, as you claim, how did these institutions take me in? A cursory look at my name is all it takes, if you want to discriminate,” Daniyal’s blog entry read.
As soon as terror struck Mumbai, communities condemning the dastardly attacks spurted on various social networking sites.
Mumbai Terror Attacks: I condemn it“, a community on popular networking site Facebook, was created within hours of attack asking everyone to “stand together irrespective of race, colour, creed and religion”. So far, it has attracted 12,842 members.
The Mumbai terror attack and the Indian response to it has been the main topic for online discussions.
Praying for those who fell victims to the sinister designs of the terrorists, one blogger wrote: “My heart goes out to the victims of this terror attack; to those families who are mourning the loss of a loved one today; and to the families of those who were wounded. May the creator help all those hurting in India and around the world to find solace and comfort during this time.”
Within no time of the incident, a blog “Mumbai Help” come up with helpline numbers, and lists of those dead and injured in this unfortunate incident. Another site, “Mumbai Metblog” , is asking readers to donate blood to injured people in attack by providing the telephone number of hospitals.
On microblogging site Twitter, 80 messages were posted within five seconds with the updates of the incidents. Moreover, a new profile – mumbaiattack – was created just five hours after the terrorist struck.

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